Become a PCP
Did you know you can participate in the democratic process at the local level?
You may remember that during the 2016 primaries, there was a lot of attention on local political parties and how they work. There was a lot of talk about the rules and procedures that were followed by parties at the local level, and many people grew more curious as to how those procedures were arrived at.
In the state of Oregon, there is a representative position known as the Precinct Committee Person (PCP). The PCP is a large driving force in the organization of local parties. Each PCP is a voting member of the Central Committee in their county party, and the Central Committee in each county is authorized to make all decisions relating to its county party. As a WashCo Dems PCP, you will be voting on official Party business such as candidate endorsements, Party resolutions, as well as electing county Party leadership and Platform Convention delegates.
How does it work?
A precinct is the smallest political unit in the country; it cannot be divided by a legislative, congressional, or supervisorial boundary. A PCP is a representative of the party within the precinct in which he or she resides. A PCP may also serve an adjacent precinct.
Oregon’s election law authorizes at least one male and at least one female PCP from each major political party for every precinct, depending on the size of the precinct. For every 500 registered voters in a precinct, there should be one PCP of each gender. Party members may file for election as PCPs in May primary elections, or may run as write-in candidates. Vacancies may be filled by appointment between elections at Central Committee Meetings.
Precinct Committee Person opportunities
- Vote at monthly Central Committee Meetings as a county party delegate
- Nominate candidates for Democratic vacancies in the state legislature or county commission
- Participate in County and State Platform Conventions
- Elect County Central Committee Officers (elected PCPs only)
- Elect delegates to the State Central Committee
- Elect delegates to the Democratic National Presidential Convention
- Voter contact
Other important things PCPs can do
- Identify people to lobby elected officials
- Identify high school students’ 18th birthdays
- Recruit volunteers
- Solicit small donations
- Provide tax credit information
- Get voters’ phone numbers and email addresses
- Act as a resource whom voters in your precinct can contact for assistance
At important times, each WashCo Dems PCP should contact the voters in their assigned precinct, by phone or door to door. They should establish a personal relationship with the voters in their precinct, provide these voters with information on the Democratic Party and its candidates, and provide the Party and candidates with feedback from the voters.
How to Become a PCP
During election years, PCP candidates need to get on the Primary Ballot and be elected by a minimum of 3 votes. During non-election years, and after the Primary, you can be appointed a PCP during the Central Committee Meeting.
- To get on the biannual (even-numbered years) May Primary Ballot, download, print and fill out an application, and then deliver it to the Elections Office.
- To be appointed, you can do one of the following:
- Print, fill out, and sign an application and bring it to a monthly Central Committee Meeting
- Fill out an application at our Headquarters, located at 140 NE 3rd Ave, Hillsboro, OR 97124, in person to be signed and left with the volunteer at the office
- Meet with a House District Leader and have them sign the application
- Fill out an application during our monthly Central Committee Meeting, held on the fourth Wednesday of each month (except December) beginning at 7:00 PM, and sign the guestbook. Doors open at 6:30pm for social time. Check website for location.
Applicants who choose to submit their forms to the Elections Office will need to bring a copy of it to the Central Committee Meeting, WashCo Dems office, or to a House District Leader.